On Thursday, 27 January
2005, the world will mark
60th anniversary of the liberation of survivors from the infamous Nazi
concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Among the victims of Nazi
tyranny were millions of
enslaved or exterminated by the Nazis. Ukraine lost more of its
than any other country in Nazi-occupied Europe, as the distinguished
historian, Professor Norman Davies, has confirmed. Regrettably, and far
too often, Ukrainian victims are commingled with those of other
such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania or included under
rubric of Russian or Soviet losses. Even more perfidious are the
of bigoted stereotypes portraying Ukrainians as camp guards or
Anti-Nazi resistance in Ukraine was ferocious, extensive, and effective
and Ukraine's insurgents would fight not only the Nazis and their
but continue to struggle for their country's freedom against Soviet
well into the 1950s.
No one knows how many Ukrainians were confined or perished in, the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex and the other Nazi concentration camps, but it is certain that amongst those at Auschwitz there was a Ukrainian prisoner of war, Andrij, who later became the father of the first democratic president of Ukraine, the recently inaugurated Viktor Yuschenko. Thus Ukraine's president can be described as a "second generation survivor" of the Holocaust. He will be attending tomorrow's memorial service at Auschwitz.